Why the Right to Grow Your Own Medical Cannabis Must Be Protected from "Tax, Regulate and Control" State Models
I’ve been juicing kale, hemp seed, hemp oil etc. for about a year now . . . using my Vita-mix blender. For someone that doesn’t do much cooking it has been great. So a few weeks back I added a gram of raw Cannabis to my daily smoothies and found that I felt very energized though their were no psychotropic effects. I did this little experiment because I have been reading that the raw form of THC, THCA, may have all sorts of wonderful effects on our health. So while I would like to continue this I can’t. Why? Because a gram of Cannabis costs about 7 to 10 dollars per gram and I just don’t have $3,650 extra dollars a year to make this part of my daily diet. Before I go to far let me make clear that that my decades of activism, for the right of adults to use Cannabis (e.g., Marijuana), has NEVER been predicated on it’s Medical use. And before 1900 most American would have agreed with that statement. It was not until the Harrison Narcotics Act (1914, I believe) that their was any prohibition of opioid use. It was not until 1918 that we prohibited alcohol and that was rescinded in 1932. It was not until the Marijuana Tax Act (1937) the Cannabis was prohibited at the Federal Level.
As far as I’m concerned we all have the inalienable right, as adults, to alter our state of consciousness: whether that be through alcohol, Cannabis, or entheogens such as LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin or even DMT. And even if you don’t agree with that statement, surely you will admit that a 100 years drug prohibition is a failed policy that has destroyed both entire communities and millions of individual lives.
Having said that I also agree with fellow activist Dennis Peron who said: “All Cannabis use is Medical use.” As far as I’m concerned getting “high” is, in fact, medical use.
So let me briefly summarize the history of the medical use of Cannabis.
A very short history of the Medical use of Cannabis
* The Medical use of Cannabis goes back many thousands of years and was used by numerous cultures during that period of time. And the conditions treated by Cannabis were recorded in the Medical Codices of these said cultures.
* As Cannabis (Marijuana) went mainstream, during the Hippie Era of the 1960’s, it was widely acknowledged as a safe way to relieve stress and other medical conditions.
* The growing understanding of how Cannabis ameliorated the symptoms of Glaucoma, Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis etc. led to the passage of the first Medical Marijuana Initiative (Prop215, CA) in November of 1996.
* In 2003 Rick Simpson successfully cured basal cell carcinoma skin cancer by applying THC oil directly on the lesions. Later it was found the RSO (Rick Simpson’s THC oil) could be taken orally and would have profound effects on various forms of cancer and other health conditions.
===== Rick Simpson’s Story: The man who rediscovered the cure for cancer Lincoln Horsley 10/30/2013 http://www.cureyourowncancer.org/rick-simpson.html =====
* In 2010 William Courtney (MD) presented a paper on high dose non-psychoactive dietary uses of THCA at Cannabis Therapeutics in Rhode Island April 2010.
===== Origins of Cannabis International Foundation By Dr. William Courtney https://www.cannabisinternational.org/about.php
Is Juicing Raw Cannabis the Miracle Health Cure That Some of Its Proponents Believe It to Be?
This article also has information on dosing with raw Cannabis.
http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/juicing-raw-cannabis-miracle-health-cure-some-its-proponents-believe-it-be ===== Why Discovery of the Endocannabinoid System is so important The evolution of Medical Marijuana use has also been greatly affected by the discovery of the human Endocannabinoid System (ECS) in 1995. I would highly recommend reading the following article and I have included some links at the end for your further research. The discovery of the human ECS is probably one of the most important scientific discoveries in the last 10,000 years. Yet in the 12 years, since its discovery, most of our medical schools still don’t even teach about it. “Endocannabinoids” are Cannaboids — substances from the Cannabis plant (THC, THCA, CBD, CBG etc.). — that are produced within (e.g., endo = within) our own human bodies. And the only source of the THC exocannabinoids (e.g., exo = outside) – cannanaboids outside of the human body . . . come from the Marijuana plant: Cannabis. And what is even more amazing is that virtually all of the Animal Kingdom — from Fish to Humans — has an Endocannabinoid System! In the simplest of terms a happy ECS brings balance (e.g., homeostatis) to the human body. And with a happy ECS comes improved health. But to optimize our ECS we need to provide enough Cannabinoid Acids (such as THCA) and Non-Acid Cannabinoids (such as THC). The Cannaboid Acids — such as THCA — come from ingesting raw Cannabis (whether it be right off the plant or the dried form that is said to be “cured”). The Non-Acid Cannabinoids (such as THC) come from smoking a joint or eating edibles: where the THCA has been cooked to transform it into THC. Please note that this is a very simplistic explanation. There are many Cannabinoids, besides THC, and they all have various effects on our Endocannabinoid System. ===== In 1995, Mechoulam’s group discov-red a second major endocannabinoid — 2-arachidonoylglycerol, or “2-AG” — that “locks on” to both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. By tracing the metabolic pathways of THC, scientists stumbled upon a unique and hitherto unknown molecular signaling system that is involved in regulating a broad range of biological functions. Scientists call it “the endocannabinoid system,” after the plant that led to its detection. The name suggests that the plant came first, but in fact, as Dr. John McPartland has explained, this ancient, internal signal system started evolving over 600 million years ago (long before cannabis appeared) when the most complex life form was sponges.
The Discovery of the Endocannabinoid System http://www.beyondthc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/eCBSystemLee.pdf =====
Making sense of Medical Cannabis history
Up until Dr. Courtney exposed the beneficial effects of THCA (e.g., Cannabis in its raw form) most medical use was centered on decarboylize Cannabis THC. Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide (CO2). Upon heating, Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid decarboxylates to give the psychoactive compound Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol.
You can read more on Decarboxylation here:
Decarboxylation From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decarboxylation
When we smoke Cannabis it is the glowing ember that converts THCA to THC via decarboxylation. When we ingest Cannabis the brownies, RSO etc., it is the heating of the THCA the converts the THCA to THC via decarboxylation. If you inhale Cannabis it is THC-Delta9 that is responsible for the psychotropic high as it goes from the lungs, to the bloodstream and to the brain. If you ingest Cannabis your liver converts the THC-Delta9 to THC-Delta10. The “body buzz” you feel from ingesting Cannabis is due to THC-Delta10.
Only since 2010 has the case been made for ingesting raw Cannabis (THCA) which has no psychotropic effect. But there are many reasons why you might want to start doing this.
===== There is much research to be done on THCA. As things stand now, however, preclinical research has uncovered a wide variety of potential uses for THCA. THCA has demonstrated a wide variety of beneficial effects on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system has been described as the largest neurotransmitter network in the body.
According to one source, THCA has a wider variety of effects on the ECS than both THC and CBD. Some of these roles include anti-spasmodic effects, anticonvulsant effects, anti-insomnia effects, and is reported to be immune supportive.
However, there is slightly more substantial evidence that THCA may hold potential in the following areas: Anti-Cancer, Insecticide, Anti-Inflammatory, Neuroprotective antioxidant, Anti-emetic, Analgesic etc.
THCA: The Real Reason You Should Be Eating Raw Cannabis Delilah Butterfield Delilah Butterfield Comments42 11 May, 2017 http://herb.co/2017/05/11/thca/?utm_content=bufferd00ed&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer =====
How much Raw Cannabis (THCA) is required to positively effect you health?
When I first considered Dr. Courtneys work I found a plethora of articles saying it was sufficient to simply juice 5 to 15 leaves per day. Here is but one example of articles that suggest 10-15 leaves is sufficient, when you will read, it is not. I really have to wonder why this misinformation has not met with more scrutiny: “In their inspiring short film “Leaf, ” Dr. Courtney and his wife suggest juicing 10 to 20 fresh leaves daily. Proposing a mix of one part cannabis juice with 10 parts carrot juice to counteract the bitterness, he suggests selecting leaves around 70-90 days after sowing, Educated Cannabinoid Crusaders: Could cannabis be an essential nutrient?”
Educated Cannabinoid Crusaders: Could cannabis be an essential nutrient? Posted by Owen Smith on May 5, 2014 https://owensmithe.wordpress.com/2014/05/05/educated-cannabinoid-crusaders-could-cannabis-be-an-essential-nutrient/ I was highly skeptical of this as I have looked at both buds and leaves under a 200 power microscope: the leaves do not have many trichomes: the tiny glass mushroom structures that contain THCA and the other various Cannabinoids. And it turns out my skepticism was warranted:
To determine the cannabinoid content of fan leaves, a prospective juicer sent 30 large leaves from a flowering Omrita Rx plant to the Werc Shop, an analytical lab in Los Angeles, for testing. They were found to contain a combined total of 11.5 milligrams of cannabinoid acids. To ingest 600 mgs of cannabinoids, by this measure, one would need to juice more than 1,500 leaves every day and/or a significant amount of bud. http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/juicing-raw-cannabis-miracle-health-cure-some-its-proponents-believe-it-be
Finally the other day I found some actual documentation on dosage:
* “Dr. William Courtney recommends that patients juice 15 leaves, and 2 large (2 to 4 inches long) raw buds per day.” https://www.medicaljane.com/category/cannabis-classroom/consuming-cannabis/juicing/#introduction-to-juicing-cannabis
* Courtney recommends “expanding our use of cannabis from the 10-milligram psychoactive THC dose to the 600-to-1000 milligram dietary dose.”
Suddenly it all made perfect sense. A gram of raw Cannabis is about 20% Cannabinoids and in most varieties most of those Cannabinoids are in the form of THCA. So in order to get 600 milligrams of THCA you would have to ingest about 3 grams of raw/dried Cannabis bud each day.
1 gram Cannabis is 20% THC so would contain about 200 milligrams of THCA. This would mean that you would have to throw about 3 grams of raw cannabis into you smoothie to get a 600 milligram does of THCA. And while Courtney insists on raw, uncured Cannabis, I believe that cured Cannabis (e.g., dried Cannabis is just fine). This is because curing only converts are very small percentage of the THCA to THC. So I see little difference between a 2-4″ raw bud and a dried/cured bud. Just saying. If you think my assertion is wrong please send a link. In any case it would seem that, to get a prescribed dose of 600 milligrams, you would have to be juicing about 3 grams of raw Cannabis into your daily smoothy.
“Colorado marijuana prices vary by city, strain, season and other variables. But overall you can expect to pay an average of around $13 per gram or $228 an ounce.” Average Colorado marijuana prices for Spring 2017 http://marijuanarates.com/blog/colorado-marijuana-prices
Even if you are buying ounces each gram is still going to cost you about $7/gram. So lets do the math:
3 grams/day * $7 * 365 day/year = $7,665/year for a 3 gram/day dose And that adds up to 1095 grams/year: just for juicing and nothing for inhaling.
Given that a pound is 454 grams that comes to about 2.5 pounds per year.
Gee how many of us have an extra $7,665/year to juice THCA into our bodies? Probably not many. The only way you are going to be able to do this is by growing your own which can be done for a fraction of that price, though requiring a bit of labor growing, trimming and harvesting.
To put this into more perspective a “great grower” can get as much as 1 gram/watt while a novice grower would be lucky getting .5 gram/watt. So a good grower might get 2.2 pounds per 1000 Watt HPS Bloom lamp. A novice grower might get 1.1 pounds per 1000 Watt HPS Bloom lamp. [1000 grams/1000 watt lamp / 454grams/pound = 2.2]
So if you are healthy enough to “grow you own” this is quite doable. Unfortunately many medical users are not healthy enough for the rigors of maintaining a sustainable garden. But however you want to cut it “growing your own” is the only way most of us are going to be able to medically juice Cannabis to improve our health.
And this brings up a second looming problem. Beginning in 2012 state Cannabis initiatives went from Medical to “Tax/Regulate and Control” initiatives, beginning with CO and WA. These initiatives incentivize state monopolies to control the growing of Cannabis in a “seed to sale” model, so that the states can tax every gram of Cannabis grown. 5 years later the states are now beginning to come down on home growers in order to boost their profits. And the large Mega Grows have been found to be using pesticides and herbicides on the plants making them toxic, especially to medical users. I explore this further in the following essay.
The Real Reasons that Cannabis Consumers are getting sick and why State Control is not the solution. https://www.facebook.com/notes/bruce-cain/the-real-reasons-that-cannabis-consumers-are-getting-sick-and-why-state-control-/1937440196281959/
The solution is the resurrection of the Tomato Model: MERP3
Since the 60’s there had been plenty of talk about the “Tomato Model,” for Cannabis. What this bascially means is that Marijuana/Cannabis should be allowed to be grown just like tomatoes: no taxation, no regulation and no state control. Since about 2008 I began constructing my own Tomato Model which I called “MERP:” The Marijuana Relegalization Policy Project. Because that is a mouthful to say I simply called it MERP which has undergone some evolution over the years. Ironically the “Tomato Model” has worked flawlessly since it began in the late 1960’s and there is no reason it could not continue to work today.
Here is my current explanation of MERP3:
===== All adults should have the sovereign right to 4, 1000 Watt, bloom lamps in their homes. If they stay within these parameters the police should be no more harmful than a dead ghost on a bright sunny day. This will probably put all those NORML “pot Attorneys” out of business for good and we will all be a whole lot less paranoid. AND they should be able to sell their overage without any “tax, regulation or government control.” And like the original Tomato Model — beginning with home grows in the 1960’s — you will not be able to write off any expenses for electricity, nutrients, lamps, clones etc. Let’s call that the third incarnation of MERP. That would be MERP3. With MERP3 no more children will be taken from their parents, no one will any longer have their homes taken away through forfeiture laws and no one will any longer get shot at 3 AM in the morning by police goon squads. And with that we will all be a whole lot happier. It will also make it far less expensive to incorporate Cannabis as a supplement for health in order to fuel our endocannaboid system. That would include the use of non-psychotropic raw Cannabis (e.g., THCA, CBDA) as well as carboxylated THC from edibles and smoking. We continue to see that “Tax and Regulate” fails to meet these criteria. And given my decades as an activist — talking to thousands of people — I am quite confident that WE THE PEOPLE prefer a MERP3 Tomato Model over State Corporate Control. You are simply kidding yourself if you feel otherwise. =====
As I said at the beginning of this essay: the right to alter one’s consciousness is an inalienable right regardless of whether a given drug has medical application or not. But it is also clear that Cannabis has many medical benefits and adults should have every right to use it both recreationally and as a medicine. I feel exactly the same way about “Magic Mushrooms” or Psilocybin. Adults should have the right to both cultivate and consume Psilocybin.
I have been an activist too long already. If you have ever attended a “Million Marijuana March” (2000 – Present) I started these international events with “International Drug Policy Day” back in 1990. I have published both a Magazine (New Age Patriot: 1989 – 1997) and Website (New Age Citizen: 2000 – 2012). I have spoken numerous times at the Ann Arbor Hash Bash and other similar events. I have done my part.
But as I write our rights to “grow our own” are coming under increasing attack. This is being promulgated by the growing number of state governments that are implementing “Cannabis Monopolies” through the emerging “Tax/Regulate/Control” Model: which first reared its head in 2012. Since 2012 legislators have been chipping away at the earlier Medical Marijuana initiatives (starting with Prop215: CA/1996) through both zoning laws and legislation. To put it in the simplest terms: they want all the Cannabis tax revenue and they are willing to put you in jail if you continue to grow. And I fully expect this to get worse over the coming years.
And let us not forget just how insane “Tax/Regulate and Control” really is. The very state governments that have been warning us about the dangers of Cannabis — for over 70 years — are now silently moving forward to become our new drug dealers.
We should never allow the foxes to watch the chicken coup. And we should never allow our persecutors to be in control of the production and distribution of Cannabis. “Tax/Regulate and Control” must be made subservient to a “Tomato Model.” Otherwise expect the War on Cannabis Consumers and Producers to escalate.
Links to help you understand the Endocannabiod System and the many Medical uses of Cannabis for personal health.
===== The Discovery of the Endocannabinoid System http://www.beyondthc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/eCBSystemLee.pdf
THCA: The Real Reason You Should Be Eating Raw Cannabis Delilah Butterfield Delilah Butterfield Comments42 11 May, 2017 http://herb.co/2017/05/11/thca/?utm_content=bufferd00ed&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Why You Should Be Eating Raw Weed Delilah Butterfield Delilah Butterfield Comments103 13 February, 2016 http://herb.co/2016/02/13/eating-raw-weed/
Have We Reached Peak Potency Limits Of THC And CBD? Delilah Butterfield Delilah Butterfield Comments28 29 March, 2017 http://herb.co/2017/03/29/peak-potency-thc-cbd/
10 Reasons Why You Need To Start Eating Raw Cannabis Delilah Butterfield Delilah Butterfield Comments0 05 April, 2017 http://herb.co/2017/04/05/eating-raw-cannabis/
Top 10 Cannabinoids And What They Do Delilah Butterfield Delilah Butterfield Comments0 06 February, 2016 http://herb.co/2016/02/06/top-10-cannabinoids/
THC: Everything You Need To Know About Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Delilah Butterfield Delilah Butterfield Comments0 24 July, 2016 http://herb.co/2016/07/24/what-is-thc/
Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System http://norml.org/library/item/introduction-to-the-endocannabinoid-system
Medical cannabis works best with education. http://healer.com/
Decarboxylation: What It Is, & Why You Should Decarb Your Weed http://herb.co/decarboxylation/
The Endocannabinoid System For Dummies (We’ve Made It Easy For You) Delilah Butterfield Delilah Butterfield Comments3 28 July, 2016 http://herb.co/2016/07/28/endocannabinoid-system-dummies/
Support Research on Cannabis & Women’s Health http://www.impactcannabis.org/
A Summary Comparison of THC, THCA, and CBD http://www.cbdscience.com/uploads/1/3/9/3/13931495/thc_thca_cbd_comparison.pdf
Cannabis Tincture Survery (2010) http://www.cbdscience.com/press–news.html
Google [[amounts of CBD THC THCA in various forms of Cannabis] https://www.google.com/#q=amounts+of+CBD+THC+THCA+in+various+forms+of+Cannabis
THC, THCA, CBD, CBC, CBN: Medical Marijuana Composition, The Chemicals in Cannabis https://unitedpatientsgroup.com/blog/2014/04/11/thc-thca-cbd-cbn-the-chemicals-in-cannabis
Cannabis Strain Information: Don’t Judge Your Strain by Its Name! by UPG https://unitedpatientsgroup.com/blog/2015/02/09/dont-judge-your-strain-by-its-name
Learn How To Dose Cannabis Medicine, A Doctors Perspective! January 5, 2016 https://unitedpatientsgroup.com/blog/2016/01/05/doctor-what-is-the-dose-of-my-cannabis-medicine
How To Decode Cannabis Labels: Here’s Everything You Need To Know Delilah Butterfield Delilah Butterfield Comments2 17 July, 2016 http://herb.co/2016/07/17/cannabis-labels/
CBD, THC & CBG – Exploring Cannabinoids https://www.zamnesia.com/content/260-cbd-thc-cbg-exploring-cannabinoids
New Blends of Old School Genetics! https://www.zamnesia.com/272-mr-nice-limited-editions
THCA vs. THC: How to Read a Lab Result By Sirius J July 20, 2015 http://hightimes.com/grow/thca-vs-thc-how-to-read-a-lab-result/
Cannabis Analysis: Potency Testing Identification and Quantification of THC and CBD https://www.perkinelmer.com/lab-solutions/resources/docs/APP_Cannabis-Analysis-Potency-Testing-Identifification-and-Quantification-011841B_01.pdf
Google [thca levels in fresh or dry cannabis] https://www.google.com/#q=thca+levels+in+fresh+or+dry+cannabis
Introduction to Juicing Cannabis “Dr. William Courtney recommends that patients juice 15 leaves, and 2 large (2 to 4 inches long) raw buds per day.” https://www.medicaljane.com/category/cannabis-classroom/consuming-cannabis/juicing/#introduction-to-juicing-cannabis
Cannabinoid Profile: Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCa) Links to “Crash Course” in THC, CBD, THCv, CBG, CBC and THCa (this article) http://theleafonline.com/c/science/2014/07/cannabinoid-profile-crash-course-thca/
Your Endocannabinoid System Explained https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZYjJf0t2OQ&feature=youtu.be
Dr. Raphael Mechoulam on the endocannabinoid system https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3fkiwTABag =====